Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reading Envy 038: Monica Byrne Wants to Make People Scream

Time traveling back to the hidden room only accessible by elevator, Jenny sits down to talk with author and playwright Monica Byrne. This was recorded on July 27, so a few mentions of "today" and "tomorrow" will be more in the past than it seems. See links below to view content.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 038: Monica Byrne Wants to Make People Scream


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Books discussed:



The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help by Amanda Palmer
Hild by Nicola Griffith
Blind Descent: The Quest to Discover the Deepest Cave on Earth by James M. Tabor
A Dance with Dragons (A Song of Ice and Fire #5) by George R.R Martin

Other links/mentions:
"Pop Culture is 'Boring as F!@#': A Playboy Conversation with Monica Byrne" by Noah Berlatsky Electric Literature column - New Suns
The Actual Star (working title of forthcoming novel by Monica Byrne)
Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern
What Every Girl Should Know
Shared Worlds
The Martian by Andy Weir
Monica's palm tree tattoo

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MonicaByrne.org
Monica on Twitter
Monica in Facebook
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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Books Added August 2015


 Every year, I celebrate the high holy days of "The Really Good, Really Big, Really Cheap Book Sale" organized by the Greenville Literacy Association.  It takes place over a three-day weekend inside a former mall, the fruits of a year of book donations and donors sorting and pricing books. I come armed with a wishlist and have a route of trade paperbacks, literature, sociology (this seems to be where the ethnographies and religion books end up), and then I flit through science fiction on my way to the cash register. I don't bother with any other sections because I know where I will find the good stuff. Books range from 2 for $1 to $5, and this is largely determined by publication date (newer is more expensive.) This means an out of print book or a signed hardcover might be only $1, and I did find a few of those!

The list is LONG this month, my apologies. I will try to write a short summary of why I brought home what I did. There are two more books that I added this month, down at the bottom of the page.


Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy
Songs for the Missing by Stewart O'Nan
Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem
For the Time Being by Annie Dillard
Skinned Alive: Stories by Edmund White
Veronika Decides to Die: A Novel of Redemption by Paulo Coelho
Life Is So Good by George Dawson
Rhythm of Compassion: Caring for Self, Connecting With Society by Gail Straub
The Keeper of Lost Causes: The First Department Q Novel (A Department Q Novel) by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Life Sentences by Laura Lippman
American Rust by Philipp Meyer
The Company: A Novel of the CIA by Robert Littell
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
All I Did Was Ask: Conversations with Writers, Actors, Musicians, and Artists by Terry Gross
Winter: A Spiritual Biography of the Season by various
The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

From my wishlist and snapped up immediately - Isherwood, O'Nan, Lethem, Dillard, Adler-Olsen, Lippmann, Meyer,  Lamott. Technically the Winter book fits too, as there are four Dillard essays in it.  I'll save it for a snow day.  The Adler-Olsen and Lippmann were brand new to the wishlist after talking to Ann VanderMeer for the podcast, and I was happy to find them at this sale.  I had a premonition I would find something by O'Nan, which is why he was on my list.

I was pleased to find the Gross and the Campbell. The Campbell is always expensive at the used book store (I believe they price it high because it is a standard text for college anthropology classes, maybe?) and the Gross fit recent conversations about wanting to learn more about interviewing. The Dundy I have read but it was in great condition and I love those NYRB editions. The White, Dawson, and Straub just sounded interesting, and the Littell fits my 2015 reading goals. Overall a very happy reading day, and all those books came in under $30!

Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness by Jennifer Tseng
Fast Ships, Black Sails edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer

Two more books came home this month. I arranged for a tour for the librarians in my group of the new M. Judson Books on Main Street in downtown Greenville before they had had their grand opening. This beautiful bookstore has a narrow focus - cookbooks and food writing, childrens-YA, southern writers, and travel writing. And then a sprinkling of indie fiction titles like the Tseng. It checks off so many boxes, I had to buy it - cold weather islands, librarian main character, and an indie press. Not to mention that I'd never heard of it (for a serendipitous book moment, this makes finding a book so resonant even better.) The VanderMeer came in the mail from Ann VanderMeer after our podcast episode. That was so nice! I will be adding it to my VanderMeer shelf (I really do have one.)

Which books have followed you home this month? Anything you're excited to read? I haven't included review copies today but maybe I'll post about those in the near future.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Reading Envy 037: Breakdancing to Bach

On a repeat trip to Berlin, I sat down in the Reading Envy pub with Juliane Kunzendorf to talk about what she has been reading. We found a shared childhood television program and common musical ground, and were always able to finish our sentences.

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 037: Breakdancing to Bach

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Books discussed:



Improvisation: Its Nature And Practice In Music by Derek Bailey
Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography by Laura Ingalls Wilder, edited by Pamela Smith Hill
Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta
The Eyre Affair: A Thursday Next Novel by Jasper Fforde
Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 1) by Louise Penny

Other links:
Luke Burrage at SFBRP Podcast
Georg Friedrich Händel
A Guide to Arvo Pärt's Music from The Guardian
Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters
Kay Scarpetta books by Patricia Cornwell
The Swarm by Frank Schätzing
Flying Steps - Flying Bach (video)
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
South Dakota Historical Society Pioneer Girl Project
Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton
Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton
Stargate (tv series)
On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee
Dr. Siri Paiboun mysteries by Colin Cotterill

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Juliane's Website
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